England, 1994. Villages in Sussex are vanishing into thin air at an alarming rate. Gino Marcotti – the Gran Maestro Occultist, son of the official occultist of the Fascist Italian Regime – is tasked to investigate by the Royal Paranormal Institute in Greenwich. His investigation takes an unexpected turn when he realises that the Black Metal scene, with its recent homicides and arson attacks on Norwegian churches, is connected to these disappearances. But he soon discovers that there are bigger and more malevolent forces at play – and the only way to defeat them is to connect with his dead father.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
A Crack in the World is fast-paced action from page one and at no point does Mordechai let the pace slow. This is 300+ pages of plot and I was totally absorbed the whole time. You’re thrown into the action with the first few chapters bouncing between ’12 hours’ and ‘one month’ earlier, and that really reels you in because you get to see where the story is going, but not how you’re going to get there. Plus you get a great idea of how weird things will become…
A Crack in the World mainly focusses around Gino & Carter – partners in the Royal Paranormal Institute. Gino is an occultist while Carter is more the muscle. This creates a great dynamic whereby Gino has to explain things for Carter (very helpful as a reader), but it never feels like you’re just being walked through the story. Many things are either clear from context or explained later in the story. They make a great duo and they give great balance to the story.
Plot-wise A Crack in the World never lets up for a moment. But it really works well. Everything comes together inn the last 100 pages or so and it really feels like they’re up against a ticking time bomb. There’s a particularly epic moment towards the end that I wish could have been explored more, but there’s so much else going on that it’s not a problem. Mordechai’s world-building is wonderful and there’s so many things hinted at that I hope we might get to explore in future. I loved how certain things came together and the realisation that maybe these things created more than intended. The inclusion of disappearing villages, demons and other-wordly spaces just made the book all the more fascinating.
A Crack in the World is a unputdownable debut and if you’ve an interest in the occult, and what may lie beyond our reality I’d highly recommend getting yourself a copy.
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